The Week

Telegraph Avenue north of Dwight Way could become two-way under a plan for Bus Rapid Transit.
Michael Howerton
Telegraph Avenue north of Dwight Way could become two-way under a plan for Bus Rapid Transit.


GA Recipients To Ask Supervisors to Rescind Cuts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Monday February 22, 2010 - 08:51:00 PM

General Assistance recipients will once again gather outside Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 a.m. to ask the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to rescind severe cuts to their funding. -more-

Reward Offered in Berkeley’s First Homicide of 2010

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 04:44:00 PM

The City of Berkeley Monday announced a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect charged with murdering a Richmond man in West Berkeley. -more-

Berkeley Proposes Taxing Marijuana Dispensaries

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Saturday February 20, 2010 - 07:23:00 PM

If the City of Berkeley has its way, pot in Berkeley might just get a wee bit more expensive. -more-

Department Of Justice Review Clears Yoo of Misconduct

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday February 19, 2010 - 10:32:00 PM

An internal review by the U.S. Department of Justice released Friday said that the lawyers who authorized waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques under the Bush administration showed “poor judgment” but were not guilty of professional misconduct. -more-

Berkeley's mayor pushes anti-PG&E protester

From the Bay Guardian and the Fog City Journal
Friday February 19, 2010 - 07:15:00 PM

Check out this astounding chain of links from the Bay Guardian and Fog City Journal, complete with action photos. -more-

Bus Rapid Transit Still Sore Point For Berkeley Business Districts

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:38:00 AM

AC Transit’s proposal for Bus Rapid Transit in Berkeley is inching forward despite vehement opposition from residents, commuters and at least two business improvement districts. -more-

Bates Proposes Another New Downtown Plan

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:39:00 AM
Mayor Tom Bates wants his new downtown plan on the ballot.

The battle over the future of Berkeley’s downtown is headed back to the City Council on Feb. 23. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates is proposing to rescind the most recent version of the controversial Downtown Area Plan, which was approved by the council last July but was stayed by a successful referendum campaign to put it on the ballot for voters to decide in a future election. The mayor said Monday that he wants to put his own new plan on the November ballot instead. -more-

Berkeley Way Neighbors Lose Café Appeal for New Downtown Building

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:40:00 AM
The corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Berkeley Way, above, is the site of a proposed café that concern area neighbors. 
                The University Avenue facade of the building, below, plans to house Trader Joe’s grocery store on the ground floor.

Despite having fought off a slew of lawsuits, threats and angry neighbors, the project which will house Trader Joe’s grocery in downtown Berkeley is not yet off the hook. -more-

Council Approves Housing Study, Black Infant Program

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:42:00 AM

Despite a $10 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year, the Berkeley City Council made a commitment to the Black Infant Health Program at its Tuesday meeting. -more-

Council to Review Recycling Deficit, Extend Ashby Arts Funds

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 04:43:00 PM

The City Council will hold a special 5 p.m. Feb. 23 workshop to discuss the city’s refuse revenue deficit. -more-

Berkeley Hosts African-American History Month Celebrations

By Raymond Barglow, Special to the Planet
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:43:00 AM
From left to right, LeConte School kindergarten teacher Ms. Gee, students in her class, Principal Cheryl Wilson, all standing in front of “We Have a Dream Quilt” woven in traditional African American style. The quilt will be raffled off on Feb. 26.

February is African-American History Month, honoring struggles past and present to overcome slavery, segregation, and poverty, and recognizing African-Americans’ economic, cultural, and political contributions to the nation. -more-

Bear’s Lair Vendors Lose Out to Subway, Saigon Eats

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:45:00 AM

Strikes, occupations, petitions and sit-ins couldn’t save the two vendors fighting to hold on to their leases at UC Berkeley’s Bear’s Lair food court. -more-

BART Airport Connector Hits Bump in Road

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:46:00 AM

BART’S $492 million Oakland Airport connector plans hit a snag Friday after the agency failed to convince federal authorities that it could complete studies showing the project’s impact on minority communities in a timely manner. -more-

Hesperian Manuals Aid Haiti

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:46:00 AM

Berkeley’s Hesperian Foundation is working around the clock to help earthquake victims in Haiti. -more-

Police Still Seeking Suspect in Berkeley’s First Homicide of 2010

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:47:00 AM

Berkeley police are still looking for Berkeley resident Kevin Aaron Alvarado in connection with last Thursday’s fatal stabbing. -more-

On Gardening: The Avocado

By Shirley Barker, Special to the Planet
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:48:00 AM

There are no vegetables I can think of that are eaten as fruits, although many fruits are eaten as vegetables. The tomato seems to me the fruitiest of vegetables. Chilis are fruits. All squash including cucumbers are fruits. If the eggplant, a fruit, is truly the king of vegetables, then its crown prince must surely be the avocado. Like many heirs to the throne, avocados have riveting love lives too. -more-


Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:44:00 AM

A story in the Feb. 11 edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet incorrectly reported the City Council’s final vote on the pools ballot measure. The 5-4 vote reported in the story was a straw vote; the final vote was unanimous. -more-

Activist Group Files Lawsuit to Restore Affirmative Action at University of California

Bay City News
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:49:00 AM

An activist group filed suit in federal court in Oakland today in a new bid to overturn a controversial 1996 state ballot initiative and restore affirmative action in admitting students to the University of California system. -more-

Curtis Martin Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering Girlfriend, Baby

Bay City News
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:50:00 AM

Curtis Martin III pleaded not guilty today to charges that he murdered his girlfriend and their baby in November. -more-

Would-Be Centennial for Historic, Vanished Newman Hall

By Steven Finacom, Special to the Planet
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:51:00 AM
A 1959 wedding rite in the upstairs Thomas Aquinas Chapel at Newman.

Many wonderful buildings that once defined the cultural landscape of Berkeley have vanished, recalled today only in photographs and written memories. One such, “an ornament to Berkeley,” was the original Newman Hall, a stately Tudor Revival edifice. It was dedicated just off the UC campus in March 1910. -more-



Leading Berkeley Down the Primrose Pathway

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:54:00 AM

The results are in! The winner of this month’s Orwell Prize is……Tom Bates, for his brand shiny new Green Pathways program, announced this week at the City Council’s Hidden Agenda Committee. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:58:00 AM


Something Stinks in West Berkeley

By Mark McDonald
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:59:00 AM

Something stinks in West Berkeley and it’s not just the noxious odors coming from several industrial firms primarily Pacific Steel Castings foundry (PSC) on Gilman Street. -more-

Response from Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland

By Bertram Lubin
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:59:00 AM

Six months ago I was asked to become the CEO of Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. I am a pediatrician and am Board Certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. I have worked at Children’s for 37 years, originally joining Children’s Hospital to start a hematology/oncology program. Twenty-five years ago, I was asked to direct the research program, which is now called Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). I accepted the position as CEO because I recognized the hospital’s uniqueness as a safety net hospital for the entire Northern California region; a non-profit medical center that takes care of children regardless of their ability to pay. Its mission includes care to all children, education for future medical care providers, research that improves the lives of children worldwide, and advocacy for the health of children. -more-

AC Transit Should Provide the Service Voters Approved

By Gale Garcia
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:00:00 AM

AC Transit is in dire financial straights and is in danger of having to cut bus service by 15 percent in March of this year. -more-

Berkeley’s Deficit Devil and the Details

By Dan Knapp
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:01:00 AM

The trouble with reporting what another newspaper says is that when that newspaper gets it wrong, the secondhand “news” purveyor gets it wrong too. The San Francisco Chronicle’s story on Feb. 9 got it wrong about the likely causes of Berkeley’s budget deficit. On Feb. 10, East Bay Express columnist Robert Gammon copied, simplified, and amplified the error.   -more-

Regional Planning: The Big Picture

By Revan Tranter
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:02:00 AM

Instead of arguing (Daily Planet, Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11) about whether or not the Association of Bay Area Governments mandates any given number of additional residents in downtown Berkeley—which I don’t think it does—I’d suggest we broaden the discussion by looking at how regional planning is conducted, and whether it could or should be done differently.  -more-

A History Lesson for Obama

By Henry Norr
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:03:00 AM

Now that his Middle East peace initiative has shattered on the rocks of Israeli intransigence, it’s time for President Obama to consider a new approach. In the spirit of bipartisanship that he’s so dedicated to, I suggest he look to the way Dwight D. Eisenhower handled a similar challenge a half-century ago.  -more-

Mystery Author Dick Francis Dead At 89

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:03:00 AM

I enjoy a good mystery, but I was hesitant at first to pick up a Dick Francis mystery. After all, I don’t know or care anything about horse racing. But on one of my travels, I was stuck for some reading material and picked up an abandoned copy of a Dick Francis novel. I was hooked. Although the settings are always directly or tangentially related to horse racing, the books are just good reads. And I even learned a bit about horse racing. -more-


Flash: BLOGS! IN BERKELEY? and beyond...

Sunday February 21, 2010 - 12:12:00 AM

This is an arbitrary and eclectic selection of some local blogs we think are worth reading: -more-

UnderCurrents: Dellums' Peace Conference May Have Been Overhyped, But Tammerlin Drummond's Criticisms Were Off-Base

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 10:49:00 AM

Mayor Ron Dellums’ office held an event that they called “Peace Conference 2010” at the Claremont Hotel last week, which caused Inside Bay Area writer Tammerlin Drummond to post a highly-critical column in response. -more-

Dispatches From The Edge: China and India: A Danger in Thin Air

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:52:00 AM

Of all the world’s potential hotspots, one of the most unlikely is tucked into the folds of the Himalayas. It is a slice of ground that is little more than frozen rock fields and soaring peaks that is decidedly short on people, resources and oxygen. But for the past year it has been a worrisome source of friction between India and China, including incursions by Chinese troops, the wounding of several Indian border police, and a build up of military forces on both sides. -more-

East Bay Then and Now: Railroad ‘Lobster’ Controlled State Politics for a Decade

By Daniella Thompson
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:08:00 AM
The Jeremiah T. Burke estate, 2911 Russell St.

The Judah L. Magnes Museum announced last week that it will be relocating to 2121 Allston Way, a former printing plant it has owned since 1997. The building had been leased to the Berkeley Public Library and the Bancroft Library during their respective renovations. -more-

Green Neighbors: Plants, People and Plasticity

By Ron Sullivan
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:15:00 AM
Houseplant eats mailbox: This innocent-looking jade plant, a huge version of our wobbly little houseplant back East, covers a whole Berkeley yard-and blooms, too.

When I first arrived in California, riding on my faithful mas-todon, one of the things that blew my mind was looking out the backdoor of the place we’d just rented and seeing a geranium hedge as tall as I was. -more-

Arts & Events

Arts Calendar

Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:07:00 AM

THURSDAY, FEB. 18 -more-

‘Sylvia’ Comes to Life at the Ashby Stage

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:04:00 AM

The cats not only talk, they sing—at one point, in an over-the-top performance of what must be their national anthem—or prowl above the soapy-looking cardboard bubbles overflowing their mistress’ forlorn tub, hypnotizing her to relieve her anxieties of homelessness ... and maybe score an open can of tuna while Sylvia’s in a trance. -more-

Verismo Opera Performs ‘La Traviata’ at Hillside Club

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:05:00 AM

Verismo Opera will perform Verdi’s masterpiece, perennial favorite La Traviata, this Sunday afternoon at the Berkeley Hillside Club as part of a 14-performance tour of the Bay Area that will continue in Mill Valley (Feb. 27-28), Vacaville (March 7) and Vallejo (March 27-28). -more-

The Most Dangerous Man in Kensington

By Gar Smith, Special to the Planet
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 09:08:00 AM

The Oscar-nominated documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America is like Avatar for activists. Slip into this movie and suddenly you’re riding shotgun on Daniel Ellsberg’s shoulder as the Pentagon war planner turned peace activist makes the fateful decision that will eventually topple a president. But, for all its national and geopolitical ramifications, Dangerous Man is a hometown product. Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg reside in Kensington and co-directors Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich are based in Berkeley. Goldsmith has an office at the Saul Zaentz Media Center in West Berkeley; Ehrlich teaches film at Berkeley City College and rents workspace over Bubi’s. -more-

February DVD releases: 'Make Way for Tomorrow', 'Howards End'

By Justin DeFreitas
Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:56:00 AM

Make Way for Tomorrow -more-

Community Calendar

Thursday February 18, 2010 - 08:51:00 AM

THURSDAY, FEB. 18 -more-